Tuesday, June 24, 2008

DEXS SDHC High Speed Card Reader - S$4.90

In the present digital age when more digital information is being generated and file sizes of a few hundred megabytes become normality, the need for larger data storage capacity becomes necessary. In most portable devices, storage medias are in the form of cards; one popular and rather universal card is the Secure Digital (SD) card. While many devices are shrinking in physical sizes as well as the existance of mini- and micro-SD cards, the standard-sized SD card is still largely very popular, especially for digital cameras. The need for more storage capacity becomes a problem for the tradtional SD card, due to technical limitations. Hence, a new format of SD card, Secure Digital High Capactiy (SDHC), has been developed.

Presently, for standard-sized Secure Digital cards, there are two types: (1) Secure Digital (SD), and (2) Secure Digital High Speed (SDHC). SD cards have storage capacities of 8MB to 4GB, while SDHC starts from 4GB to 32GB presently. Though both types have identical appearance and fits exactly into the same slot, however, in terms of specifications, they are rather different. Hence, while all new devices and older devices support SD, not all the older devices support SDHC. Consumers will need to know whether their devices support SDHC cards before they make a purchase, or else, their devices will not be able to read the SDHC card. Note that some devices that support SD might be limited to 2GB SD cards, though the maximum capacity for SD cards is 4GB. Since newer devices are made to support the use of SDHC cards, the same goes for the medium that transfers data from an SDHC card, i.e. your old SD card reader will probably not support and unable to detect the SDHC card, irregardless the brand or type. Hence, one can either transfer via the device which reads the SDHC card or get a newer card reader that supports SDHC cards.

While Sim Lim Square is selling generic multi-card reader with SDHC written in fine print, a dedicated SDHC card reader is preferred. A branded dedicated SDHC card reader can easily cost around S$20. A cheaper alternative will be to turn to generic dedicated SDHC card readers that are cheaper. When I came across this DEXS generic SDHC high speed card (150x) reader on sale at S$4.90. I thought I gave this generic card reader a try!

DEXS SDHC High Speed Card Reader
150x (22.5MB/s)
S$4.90






Verdict
A generic product with very inexpensive appearance and feel. The thin translucent plastic feels very inexpensive. The same material is used to make the dust covers catch and hinge, which may probably snap under 50 uses. Thought the dust cover for the card slot is unnecessary, but it will nice to slip in an inexpensive 4GB SDHC card (~S$25), close the dust cover, and it becomes a 4GB thumbdrive. In the future, there is still the option to upgrade to 16GB, 32GB or even higher. The specified 150X speed rating is not tested, but should be useful when the capacity of the card goes up. You do know it takes longer to transfer 32GB of data than 4GB of data right?
To learn more about SD/SDHC card speed ratings, read end of this post.

Those interested in getting this very usable and inexpensive dedicated SDHC high speed card reader, it is available at AMK Hub basement 1, atrium, until tomorrow (25th of June 2008).


Demystifying the myth of SD/SDHC card speed ratings

SD card speed ratings
Rating -- Speed (MB/s)*
6x -- 0.9
32x -- 4.8
40x -- 6.0
66x -- 10.0
133x -- 20.0
150x -- 22.5
* maximum speed achievable

SDHC card speed class ratings
Class Speed -- (MB/s) #
Class 2 -- 2.0
Class 4 -- 4.0
Class 6 -- 6.0
# minimum speed though cards may/may not specify its maximum speed.

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